Manchester United fans react on Twitter to Cleverley performance against Arsenal

Tom Cleverley

Tom Cleverley started in the heart of Manchester United's midfield as the champions drew 0-0 with Arsenal.

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has come in for some almighty criticism over recent weeks and it would have surprised plenty when David Moyes started him in the centre of midfield against Arsenal last night.

The general view among United supporters at the moment is that while Cleverley protects the ball well in central areas, he doesn’t do enough going forward to rip apart the heart of an opposition defence.

He’s defended himself quite openly in the media, suggesting that he’s been made a scapegoat due to the struggles United have been forced to endure in Moyes’ first season in charge of the club.

That prompted several fans to attack him on Twitter, with the news yesterday that he’d been forced to close his account due to the volume and nature of the cyber abuse he was receiving.

So how did he get on against the Gunners?

He was tidy, played simple passes and generally held a good position in the centre but Juan Mata was clearly frustrated, and a little bit lost, out on the wing, eager to come inside and get involved with Cleverley and Carrick in the middle.

Only three players who started the game had a better passing success rate over the course of the match, disregarding the subs who came on late in the game who had better numbers due to less time on the pitch.

He got on the ball the same number of times as Antonio Valencia and only Michael Carrick, other than defenders, had more touches of the ball in the side across the whole match.

He worked hard for the team in the middle, which made life for his teammates slightly easier against an Arsenal side that always protects and uses possession well in all games.

Here’s what Manchester United fans made of his performance.

image: © eschipul

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch